5 Less Expensive Wireless Alternatives to AirPods

2 minute read
| Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Last week I said I thought AirPods were too expensive. So, if you’re looking for a decent-sounding, comfortable wireless headsets to use primarily with a single Apple device—an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac—I’ve tried many models that will serve your needs and cost you less than AirPods.

AirPods Alternatives

Here’s the deal: If you’re going to use your headphones with a single (Apple) device, you pair the headphones with the device and the device and headphones remember each other evermore (or until they forget each other). This is good—it means the headphones connect to the device automatically when you power up the headphones.

Now, if you want to use those same headphones with another (Apple) device, you usually have to first unpair (disconnect) them from the first device, and then pair them with the second.

And that’s the issue. Switching from one Apple device to the other requires a trip to either the Settings app (iOS) or the Bluetooth menu bar item (macOS) to disconnect from the one and connect to the other. It’s not totally odious but it does take a few extra seconds every time.

AirPods don’t require a disconnect/connect sequence to use them with another Apple device. Instead, just select them as the sound source in either Control Center (on iOS), or the Bluetooth menu bar item (on macOS). The best part is, you don’t ever have to pair the AirPods with your other Apple devices—as soon as you pair them with one device, they’re paired automatically with all your other compatible Apple devices.

Some Less Expensive (than AirPods) Wireless Headphone Options

That’s cool. But, if you’re only going to use your earphones with a single device, you can probably find comfortable, decent-sounding wireless headphones for less than $159. If that describes you, here are a few wireless headsets I’ve tested that may better suit your needs and cost you less:

Decibullz Custom Fit Bluetooth Wireless Earphones ($119) are ideal for anyone with comfort issues with other in-ear buds. They’re the only ones I know that include custom-molded earpieces you heat with warm water and shape to fit your ears precisely. They’re very comfortable and sound better and block out ambient sound better than some other similarly priced options.

Decibullz Custom Fit Bluetooth Wireless Earphones are great for otherwise hard-to-fit ears.

Decibullz Custom Fit Bluetooth Wireless Earphones are great for otherwise hard-to-fit ears.

Elux ($99.95) are handsome, comfortable, nice-sounding over-the-ear headphones from a new company (at least to me) on the scene called Specter Wireless. I also liked their Efitz ($95.95), an in-ear model with ear hooks for those with a more athletic lifestyle.

ELUX by Specter Wireless look good; sound good; and are quite comfortable.

ELUX by Specter Wireless look good; sound good; and are quite comfortable.

EFITZ by Specter Wireless stay put; sound good; and are comfortable as well.

EFITZ by Specter Wireless stay put; sound good; and are comfortable as well.

For those on even tighter budgets I recommend Kinivo’s BTH240 ($24.95) and the discontinued BlueAnt Pump 2 HD ($19.99), which I’ve mentioned before.

The BlueAnt Pump HD (now discontinued) are a steal at $19.99.

The BlueAnt Pump HD (now discontinued) are a steal at $19.99.

Kinivo BTH240 are comfortable, sound pretty good, and are a steal at $24.99,

The Kinivo is a decent set of over-the-ear headphones with remote controls at a remarkably low price; the discontinued (but still available) BlueAnt Pump HD are still my go-to headphones for any strenuous activity.

And that’s all he wrote…

Resources:

AirPods. Apple, Inc. $159. Apple

Decibullz Custom Fit Bluetooth Wireless Earphones. Decibullz. $119.  (Amazon $119)

Elux. Specter Wireless. $99.95.

Efitz. Specter Wireless. $95.95.

BTH240. Kinivo. $24.95. www.kinivo.com (Amazon $24.95)

BlueAnt Pump 2 HD (discontinued model). BlueAnt. $19.99 (Amazon $19.99)

3
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
3 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
thanatopsisBob LeVitusHagen Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
thanatopsis
Member
thanatopsis

I scoffed at the AirPods when they first came out. But then I got the Apple Watch and love it. I thought they would go well together, and they do. You could literally go streaking with nothing but the Apple Watch and AirPods and have music to listen to. You might want to wear sneakers, though. I have some $10 silicon sleeves that make them fit in my ear like Bose Sport headphones. They never fall out and are even more comfortable than usual. I can barely tell I’m wearing them. I accidentally took a shower with them once. Luckily… Read more »

Hagen
Member
Hagen

I thought the major reason to get the AirPods was to get rid of ALL of the wires. These are good headsets, but every one of them has a wire (or a headband) that runs between the two ears. Any good alternatives to the AirPods that are completely wireless?